Daily legal News for 31.07.2008

US House passes first bill to regulate tobacco



WASHINGTON: The House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation that for the first time would subject the tobacco industry to regulation by federal health authorities whose job is to promote public well-being.

Its backers call the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act landmark legislation. While the bill appears to have enough support to pass this year, it is unclear whether the Senate will have time to act, and the Bush administration said yesterday that President George W Bush would veto the bill.

The 326-102 House vote signalled solid bipartisan support for the measure, with 96 Republicans breaking with Bush’s position to vote in favour of the bill. Both presidential candidates, Sens John McCain, a Republican, and Democrat Barack Obama support the legislation.

Democratic Rep Henry Waxman worked for more than a decade to get the House to pass tobacco regulation.

“This is truly a historic day in the fight against tobacco,” Waxman said. “But it took us far too long to get here.”

The bill would tighten restrictions further on tobacco advertising and impose new federal penalties for selling to minors. Its most far-reaching provisions would give the Food and Drug Administration power to regulate tobacco, from cigarettes to new kinds of smokeless products.

While the agency could not outlaw tobacco or nicotine, it could demand the reduction or elimination of cancer-causing chemicals in cigarette smoke. The bill would prohibit candy flavoured cigars and cigarettes, and would give the FDA authority to ban menthol by far the flavouring most commonly added to cigarettes.

31 Jul 2008, 1002 hrs IST,AP



Influx blamed for blasts

– AASU links violence with Assam’s migrant problem


Guwahati, July 30: The AASU today warned both Delhi and Dispur that the serial blasts that rocked Bangalore and Ahmedabad could have its origins in Assam.

The students union, armed with two recent rulings of Gauhati High Court on identification and deportation of illegal Bangladeshis, said Assam has emerged as an important corridor for fundamentalist and extremist forces behind the serial blasts that shook Bangalore and Ahmedabad last week.

AASU top brass Shankar Prasad Ray and Tapan Gogoi, along with AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharyya, said the court rulings have only vindicated the student union’s oft-repeated stand that illegal Bangladeshis entering the state are a threat to the nation’s integrity and unity.

“The government, both at the Centre and the state, should be ashamed of the court’s observations. They have exposed the failings of the governments to rein in influx. Those detected simply vanish and they are all a threat to the nation.

“We have very strong reasons to believe that the blasts in Ahmedabad and Bangalore are the handiwork of those who entered the state through Bangladesh and disappeared into thin air. They are a threat not only to the state but also to the nation. If the governments do not act even now, we will not sit idle,” Bhattacharyya said, reiterating the AASU’s demand to set up detention camps to prevent migrants, both suspected and identified ones, from disappearing. .

Ray and Gogoi, asserting that they would continue to raise their voices against influx, said a meeting of the students’ union to be held sometime today would decide the future course of action.

“The observations of the court reflect the failure of the government to act against these Bangladeshis who are crucial to the vote bank politics of all political parties, whether it is the Congress or the BJP or AGP,” Bhattacharyya said.

The high court ruling came in two similar cases in which the petitioners, declared foreigners by tribunals, had moved court.

Justice B.K. Sharma, while disposing of the writ petition filed by Md Abdul Hasim, had observed, “This writ makes shocking revelations as to how a foreign national (Bangladeshi) taking recourse to falsity, forgery and manipulation has been living in Assam, India, for years together.”


Thursday , July 31 , 2008




HC judgement on migrants Wake up call for Govt: AASU

 GUWAHATI, July 30 – The All Assam Students Union today, while appreciating the recent judgement of the Gauhati High Court on illegal Bangladeshi migrants, said that is a warning call for the State and Union Governments to take strong action against Bangladeshi nationals who have “illegally entered Assam, and have become kingmakers in their own right.”

Going for the jugular the AASU top brass at a press conference stated that neither the State Government nor the Union Government could shy away from their responsibility to protect Assam and the country from “the external aggression and internal disturbance brought about by influx from Bangladesh.”

The students’ body was of the belief that the recent judgement on illegal migrants and their nefarious activities revealed that the AASU was right in highlighting the presence of illegal Bangladeshi migrants and government inaction to identify and deport them.

Stating that the presence of Bangladeshi nationals and their continuing influx had threatened the indigenous population of Assam and her neighbouring regions, the AASU claimed that the State at present was devoid of any political leadership, otherwise things would not have come to such a pass.

The role of the Congress party, the Left parties and AGP also attracted the AASU’s wrath, because none of them was reported to have been keen on a process to identify and deport illegal migrants coming in from Bangladesh.

Their apathy towards the issue of illegal migrants, according to the AASU, was due to the fact that all of them perceived illegal migrants as vote banks, which they could not ignore.

Speaking on the occasion, AASU president Shankar Prasad Ray said that the way illegal migrants could operate in Assam showed “the hollow nature” of the Congress party and others who were in the reign of power for a long time. Despite efforts by AASU, the Union and State Governments have yet to act in a manner to stop infiltration from across the border. He urged both the governments to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit.

AASU general secretary, Tapan Kumar Gogoi, referring to the Gauhati High Court judgement said that it was tragic how Bangladeshi nationals could aspire for public office in Assam. It was only in a place like Assam that a foreign national could contest elections, all because of the failure of the government and the political parties, he added.

Samujjal Bhattacharya, AASU adviser, lambasted the State and Union Governments and said that the political leadership should be especially ashamed after the High Court came out with its judgement.

Asserting that the State Government and its various officials should now start identifying and arresting illegal migrants, he said that those arrested should be put in detention camps, before they were deported back.

Saying that after the Supreme Court order to repeal the IMDT Act, the onus was on suspected Bangladeshis to prove their citizenship, Bhattacharya pointed out that in the present scenario a large number of Bangladeshis have taken recourse to illegal and devious means to do just that.

The AASU adviser strongly criticised Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for their silence on an issue that was vital to the State as well as to the country. He and other AASU leaders warned that they would not rest till the Union and State Governments acted tough on Bangladeshi migrants, and would from now onwards keep a watch how the State Government acted on the directives issued by the Gauhati High Court.

By A Staff Reporter



Punjab and Haryana HC issues notice to Home Ministry to release Foreign prisoners


The Punjab and Haryana High Court issued notices to Union Home Ministry, the External Affairs Ministry, among others, for September 8 on a PIL seeking directions for immediate release and also repatriation of 51 prisoners of foreign origin lodged at the Amritsar Central Jail as they had all completed their sentences.

The notices were issued by a Division Bench of Chief Justice Vijender Jain and Justice Mahesh Grover while hearing the PIL filed by Amritsar based advocate Ajay Kumar Virmani.

Mr Virmani had secured this information from authorities concerned under the Right to Information Act. A majority of these prisoners were from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who were apprehended mainly for offences under the Indian Passport Act.





Flying squads to book erring auto driver, NCT tells HC



New Delhi, July 30: Commuters who are often harassed by erring auto drivers in the Capital can look forward to instant help on road from flying squads when they are caught in an awkward situation in places like railway stations, Dilli Haat or AIIMS.

The NCT government today informed the Delhi High Court that flying squads of traffic police have been deployed at various places to monitor and book erring auto drivers.

Appearing for the Traffic police and State Transport Authority, counsel Jyoti Singh told the Bench headed by Chief Justice A P Shah that since July 17 the flying squads have been deployed in places like AIIMS, Dilli Haat, Bhikaji Kama Place and railway stations.

The bench was hearing a PIL filed by Harsh Agrawal seeking direction to the government to put in place proper mechanism to solve the problems allegedly arising due to monopoly of auto drivers in the city.

Submitting the suggestions of traffic police to the court, Singh stated that if the auto driver was found to be erratic and misbehave with the public, his auto could be impounded and a fine of Rs 5,00 could be imposed on him.

As per the existing law, the auto driver is to be challaned for Rs 100 only, she added.

Following the lawyer’s submission the court said it would go through all suggestions of the government and pass an appropriate order. In the PIL, petitioner contended that commuters had to face problems because auto-drivers demanded fares more than fixed by the government.

Earlier, the court had pulled up the government for not being able to bring to book the erring drivers and said “is there a total lawlessness in the city.”

The Transport department contended that they were not able to catch the erring drivers as the addressed given by them were normally fake.

Bureau Report



Fleecing autos face Rs 5K fine



NEW DELHI: It seems that finally traffic cops are getting their act together to rein in rogue auto drivers. As most autorickshaw drivers in the city continue with their fleecing ways even after a hike in the tariffs, the traffic police is preparing a slew of punitive measures aimed at those who misbehave with commuters and refuse to ply by meter.

On Wednesday, the traffic police informed the Delhi High Court that a steep fine of Rs 5,000, flying squads for random checks, CCTV cameras at pre-paid booths and a traffic helpline are among the number of measures it is planning to make auto drivers fall in line.

Informing HC that some of these steps had already been implemented and some were awaiting clearance by the government, traffic police claimed situation would improve soon for commuters. A bench headed by chief justice A P Shah, after going through the status report and proposed plan of action by the traffic department, decided to dispose off a PIL pending before it. HC said it was satisfied with what the department had in mind and hoped citizens wouldn’t be overcharged now by auto drivers.

Appearing on behalf of the government, advocate Jyoti Singh said traffic cops are offering prepaid services at booths to aid commuters. ‘‘At present this service is being offered at 28 pre-paid booths at prominent places where personnel are present with complaint cards. If a commuter has a complaint with respect to refusal, overcharging or misbehaviour, he/she can lodge the same with the personnel present at the booth. There is also a proposal to install CCTV cameras at pre-paid booths,’’ the lawyer said.

Singh added the traffic police have started a helpline at 011-23010101. Commuters can also SMS at 56767 to lodge a complaint against errant auto drivers. On receiving complaints, the cops will issue a show cause notice to the permit holders asking why their permits shouldn’t be cancelled.

Auto drivers who misbehave or overcharge are likely to be asked to pay Rs 5,000 fine if traffic department’s proposal gets sanctioned and an amendment is made in the Motor Vehicle Act, revealed an affidavit submitted by the traffic department in the HC. But the HC has recommended a “rational” fine of Rs 500.

abhinav.garg@timesgroup.com 31 Jul 2008, 0114 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg ,TNN



Spirited PIL seeking more booze vends gets HC rebuff



NEW DELHI: A PIL demanding opening of more liquor vends in the Capital stumped the Delhi High Court on Wednesday. ‘‘A welfare state is duty-bound to provide authorized liquor to its citizens,’’ said the PIL which left chief justice A P Shah and justice S Muralidhar fuming.

‘‘What kind of a petition is this? Give more and more liquor to citizens? This is a sponsored PIL from the liquor mafia,’’ thundered the bench.

Even as the lawyer, who appeared to argue the PIL, struggled to defend the demands — claiming the PIL actually sought closure of unauthorized liquor shops and opening of more authorized ones — lawyers and litigants who were awaiting their turn inside the courtroom had a hard time supressing their laughter.

‘‘How can you say a welfare state is duty-bound to provide more liquor to its citizens? Just read what prayers are made in your PIL,’’ chief justice Shah observed, rebuking the lawyer for daring to come to court with such a petition. ‘‘We know who is behind this PIL,’’ he remarked.

The PIL drew the bench’s ire because it draped its demands as a constitutional right, arguing that politicians were forcibly closing down liquor shops, jeopardising the livelihoods of many. It said, therefore, it was important the state should ‘‘give more and more liquor’’ to its citizens by opening authorized liquor vends.

Arguing the State must open more shops, the lawyer — under fire from the bench — tried to put up a brave face and claimed his PIL, in fact, was of public interest because it sought illicit liquor trade and illegal sale to be banned. Sale of liquor from vends authorized by the government will reduce illegalities associated with this trade, the advocate argued, only to see his contention trashed by the two judges.


31 Jul 2008, 0112 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg,TNN



AIIMS-Patna blueprint inspected by experts



PATNA: The Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh has evaluated the architectural design of the proposed Jaya Prakash Narayan All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Patna, to ensure its functional efficiency.

The Patna High Court was apprised of this through a counter affidavit of the Central government to a PIL filed by Council for Protection of Public Rights and Welfare.

There is a “Green Building Concept” for the hospital building which is to be constructed on the land provided to the Central government at Phulwarisharif. The Bureau of Energy Efficiency is providing the expertise in Energy Conservation and Building Codes compliance.

The detailed project report (DPR) would be ready by August, 2008. The Hospitech Management consultant has been consulted to design the DPR for the medical college and hospital, the counter affidavit said.

31 Jul 2008, 0330 hrs IST



APPSC moves SC against quota in Group-I Mains



HYDERABAD: The Andhra Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) on Tuesday moved the Supreme Court seeking stay on the recent High Court judgment favouring implementation of reservations while selecting candidates for Mains in the Group-I examination.

Addressing a press meet, APPSC chairman Dr Y Venkatarami Reddy said, “We are going to place all the three judgments before the Supreme Court along with practices followed by other states. We are working to find a solution to a problem which has been persisting for the last 24 years.”

While the earlier two judgments did not favour reservations at the preliminary stage, the High Court on July 23 supported the quota. He said that the judgments given by the court in 1984, 2004 and 2007 were contradictory to the latest order.

The petition was filed based on the advice of advocate-general C V Mohan Reddy. On the issue of cancellation of Group-I Mains exam to be held on August 7, the APPSC chairman said that it would be known only by Friday or Monday . “As per GO 570, there is no reservations for Prelims to Mains. A ratio of 1:50 was being followed based on which recruitments were done thrice in 1984, 1995 and 2004. It is a legal problem, but people are politicising the issue,” he added.

On Tuesday, nearly 50 activists of the Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI) staged a dharna in front of the APPSC office demanding implementation of reservations. As of now, there are 196 Group-I vacancies, including 86 reserved posts, but the APPSC had short-listed 9,800 aspirants in the order of merit.

30 Jul 2008, 0952 hrs IST,TNN



HDFC Bank moves SC over crucial insolvency laws



NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court will decide whether banks can initiate insolvency proceedings while recovering dues from individual defaulters as private sector lender HDFC Bank has sought the apex court’s intervention in this regard.

The decision will have far reaching ramifications as it would expedite the loan recovery process. HDFC Bank has challenged the Bombay High Court judgement in a debt recovery case in which it was held that an insolvency notice cannot be issued on the basis of a recovery certificate issued by a Debt Recovery Tribunal.

The case relates to recovery of Rs 29 crore from Kishore K Mehta of Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai. The insolvency proceedings against individual defaulters are similar to winding up procedures against companies. In both the cases, the court-appointed receivers take charge of the assets and auction the same to recover dues.

The apex court bench headed by Justice S H Kapadia has issued notice to Mehta and had earlier stayed the High Court ruling which dismissed the HDFC Bank’s appeal.


30 Jul, 2008, 1907 hrs IST, PTI



Freedom-fighter takes pension battle to SC



NEW DELHI: At 13 he waged a war against the British and now septuagenarian freedom fighter Suresh Prakash Agarwal is fighting a long battle for the release of his pension.

After failing to get relief from the Central and UP government, the 75-year-old man living in an old age home has finally knocked the doors of the SC which had recently sent notices to the Centre and the UP government asking them for an explanation.

He was awarded a year-long rigorous imprisonment for bomb ing at the office of District Collector, Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh in 1946. He served in Central jail, Bareilly till June 1947. like Satish Chandra who was a Union Deputy Minister in the Nehru government. Freedom fighters are entitled to two pensions — one from the Centre and the other from the state government.

“I was issued a freedom fighter’s certificate by the Pilibhit District Magistrate in 1956 after which I applied for freedom fighter pension,” says Agarwal.

Decades later, Agarwal, an MSc in Physics, went to the Supreme Court and filed a writ petition for the speedy grant of his pension.

23 Jun 2008, 0435 hrs IST,PTI



HC slams relief for firm accused of fraud

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Delhi/HC_slams_relief_for_firm_accused_of_fraud/articleshow/3154890. cms


NEW DELHI: Delhi High Court has severely criticised the Debt Recovery Appellate Tribunal for granting a stay against debt recovery to a business firm accused of defrauding a public sector bank of nearly Rs 40 crores.

Setting aside the stay order recently, a division bench of justice Mukul Mudgal and justice V K Shali wondered how the DRAT could restrain the bank from seeking recovery of dues from a man who allegedly took credit from the bank and then defaulted, forcing the bank to also lodge an FIR with the Economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police. Interestingly, DRAT is also presided over by a high court judge as it sits in appeal on debt recovery cases.

“The finding arrived at by the tribunal is totally arbitrary and unreasonable which no reasonable person would arrive at,” HC observed in a strongly worded judgement, even as it asked the defaulter firm to cough up Rs 30,000 immediately to Jammu & Kashmir Bank which calculated a total liability of Rs 52 crore against the firm, including interest.

The bank, through its lawyer Tanveer Ahmed Mir, had moved HC after DRAT barred it from taking possession of a Safdarjung Enclave property belonging to the firm. This firm, in the meanwhile, leased out this property to another firm which, as HC found out, was actually owned by the same person.

Placing documents before the bench, Tanveer argued that the tenancy was a sham transaction to obstruct recovery of the loan amount by the bank. HC saw through the sham and lashed out at DRAT for “perpetrating the gross illegality in favour of the borrower firm.”

HC also took umbrage at the fact that DRAT “instead of arriving at a just and fair conclusion” posed irrelevant questions related to total area of the Safdarjung property, carpet area, rent etc in order to justify granting of stay to the firm.

“In our view these questions have absolutely no relevance to the transaction and defeat the ends of justice… this will lay a ground for borrower as well as tenant to ensure property possession is not recovered from them,” the two HC judges noted while trashing the DRAT order.


23 Jun 2008, 0353 hrs IST, Abhinav Garg,TNN



Embarrassed Assam Police move HC to keep prized prisoners

The Assam Police are moving the High Court to keep its most prized catch till date in judicial custody after a lower court released four top ISI operatives, citing of lack of evidence.

“I am hundred per cent sure that they are senior ISI operatives.

We had some laxity in investigation. But they were prized catch, ” said Assam Additional Director General Police (ADGP) G M Srivasatava.

The Assam Police has completed the legal framework to approach the Guwahati High Court to keep the four ISI operatives in custody.

Assam Police had, in August 1999, arrested four persons namely Quari Salim Ahmed alias Abdul Aziz, Md Javed Waqqar alias Mustaffa alias Md Mahraj of Muzaffarnagar (UP), Md Akram Malik of J&K and Hamid Mohammad of Pakistan Guwahati and as many as three cases were registered in this connection.

For years, the Assam Police took pride in the achievement and was it billed as the biggest success in the counter insurgency operations.

But the Additional District & Session Judge Court recently, during the trial acquitted all the convicts for want of any concrete evidence.

“They could not produce any hard evidence. They are innocent, ” said their lawyer Nekibur Zaman.

Several legal experts, however, are of the opinion that the Assam police, which have failed to gather enough clues against the convicts, would do well not to pursue the case and investigators bungled during the investigation.

The police high ups are red faced and launched an internal inquiry how this could happen when the police had claimed serious prima facie evidence against all of them when they were arrested nine years back.

The All Assam Students Union (AASU) blamed the state police for the bungling saying the police never took the case seriously after the initial limelight and as a result the four ISI operatives could walk free.






Maya moves SC against Sahara


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NEW DELHI: The Uttar Pradesh (UP) government moved the supreme court (SC) on Friday against a high court (HC) order stopping the demolition of Sahara Sahar, a commercial complex in Lucknow owned by chief minister Mayawati’s bete noire Mulayam Singh’s friend Subroto Roy.

The apex court refused to stay the HC order but agreed to hear the government plea next week.

The high court had stalled the midnight demolition by Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) on Thursday on Sahara’s plea.

This is the second time in a fortnight that the HC order on Sahara has been challenged in the supreme court.

LDA denied Sahara’s allegation that it was not served a notice before. Defending the demolition, it said the entire construction on the 270 acres of Sahara Shahar was illegal and done without getting the building plan approved from a competent authority.

“On June 13, two representatives of Sahara admitted before the LDA vice-chairman encroaching upon the 30-metre-wide road provided in the master plan,” LDA claimed. It said Sahara was repeatedly warned to remove the encroachment.
Sahara’s counsel, however, said LDA had demolished boundary walls, a watchtower, an auditorium, portion of a hospital and the approach to Jal Mahal to extend Mayawati’s pet project Ambedkar Park.


Rakesh Bhatnagar

Saturday, June 21, 2008  03:01 IST


Give land back to Sahara group: HC to Mayawati http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/News/PoliticsNation/Give_land_back_to_Sahara_group_HC_to_Mayawati/articleshow/3148651.cms

Lucknow: It’s been a season of close shaves for the Sahara group. First, it won a reprieve from the RBI that had disallowed Sahara India Financial Corporation Ltd (SIFCL) from accepting fresh deposits from investors and then rescinded that order.

On Thursday, the Allahabad high court pulled up the Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) for ordering demolition of large portions of Sahara Shahar and ordered the Mayawati’s government to restore the possession of the land to Sahara group.

While LDA standing counsel P N Gupta said the civic body will file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court against the order, the Lucknow bench of Allahabad HC’s censure is pretty strong. Describing Wednesday night’s demolition job at Sahara Shahar as a “blatant abuse of power by LDA officials”, the court said the group could make necessary constructions on the said land to safeguard its property.

However, it added a caveat saying any construction by Sahara would be subject to final outcome of the regular suits against it pending in local civil courts.

Without any prior notice, LDA bulldozed the Sahara property to clear alleged encroachment on a zonal road that is part of Lucknow’s Master Plan. The exercise took place in presence of heavy security armed with tear gas and in riot control gear. Onlookers were cleared out from the vicinity.
20 Jun, 2008, 1445 hrs IST, TNN


Contempt provisions do not target media’


KOCHI: The contempt of court provisions are used to uphold the majesty of courts and not to terrorise the media, Chief Justice of India K.G. Balakrishnan said here on Saturday.

Inaugurating a workshop on reporting of court proceedings and administration of justice for legal correspondents and journalists, he said no one would implement court orders if these provisions were absent.

The National Legal Services Authority; the Kerala State Legal Services Authority; the Indian Law Institute; the Press Council of India; and the Editors’ Guild of India organised the workshop.

Mr. Balakrishnan called upon the media to exercise caution while reporting cases of rape and such others in which the names of victims should be undisclosed. While reporting, care should be taken not to affect a fair trial. The media should use discretion while reporting court proceedings and need not publish all the comments of judges.

On sensationalism, Mr. Balakrishnan said some element of it should be there in reporting because, otherwise, news reports would read like gazette notifications. But reporting should be done with a sense of social responsibility and caution.

Reacting to a discussion in a session, Mr. Balakrishnan ruled out political interferences in the appointment of judges.

Trial by media

In his keynote address, G.N. Ray, Chairman of the Press Council, said India’s media scene had witnessed a shift in functioning with the emergence of the electronic media. The media doing pre-investigation of cases before authorities such as the police started their investigation caused concern. Mr. Ray stressed the need to focus on unbiased reporting.

Arijit Pasayat, Supreme Court judge and Chairman of the Supreme Court Legal Services Committee, presided. H.L. Dattu, Chief Justice of Kerala High Court, welcomed the gathering.

S.R. Sakthidharan, Chairman, Kerala Press Academy, made the introductory address. C.P. Sudhakara Prasad, Advocate-General, gave a special address. J.B. Koshy, Kerala High Court judge and Executive Chairman of the Kerala State legal Services Authority, proposed a vote of thanks.

Staff Reporter

Sunday, Jun 22, 2008


Kerala has potential for industrialisation



KOCHI: There is enough potential for the industrial development of kerala, a state blessed with many rivers, but not enough energy, Chief Justice of India, K G Balakrishnan, said here today.

“We have sufficient water and the rivers that criss cross Kerala make the land fertile. But we do not have enough energy. If we have sufficient energy, Kerala would have achieved much more development.

Speaking after inaugurating a function organised by the Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) to honour M A Yusuff Ali, Managing Director of EMKE Group,on being conferred the Padmashree award, he said Kerala has about 38 rivers which criss-cross the state, before merging with the Arabian sea.

Pointing out that hundreds of inter-state river water dispute cases are still pending before various courts in the country, including the Apex Court, he said Kerala’s involvement in such disputes was very limited.

Stating that running a business organisation was not a small thing as labour disputes are likely to crop up, he said Yusuff Ali has become a model for others, in serving people.

He said labour disputes in Kerala had resulted in several industries moving to neighbouring states. Everyone, including politicians and KCCI could cooperate in taking the state ahead ahead in industrial development, he said.

He also expressed the hope that several disputes could be settled through arbitration, with the joint effort of the Chamber, courts and advocates.

21 Jun, 2008, 2202 hrs IST, PTI



Karat wants quota in private institutes too



NEW DELHI: CPM general secretary Prakash Karat on Friday demanded reservation in private, aided educational institutions and deemed universities.

Addressing a seminar on ‘SC Judgement on OBC Reservation and Aftermath’, Karat reiterated the Left stand that there should be a legislation to empower states to regulate the fee structure and admission process in higher educational institutions since education sector is witnessing increasing “commercialisation and racketeering”.

Stating that the new law to enable states to regulate fee structure and admission process was a logical progression to the 93rd constitutional amendment, he said, ‘‘We have to have social control (in education sector). What we are seeing is increasing commercialisation and racketeering in the higher education sector. It is a necessary step (law to regulate educational institutions) to overcome the judgment in the T M A Pai case which guarantees entrepreneurial rights in the education sector.’’

After much protest and criticism, Karat said, the government has been able to implement reservation in central educational institutions.

‘‘The next step should be having reservation in private, aided and deemed universities,’’ he said. There would be a lot of opposition from within the ruling establishment and other political parties as a number of educational entrepreneurs are “MLAs, MPs and ministers”, he said.

22 Jun 2008, 0231 hrs IST,TNN



High Court allows appeal on land acquisition



Srinagar, June 22: In a land acquisition case, the High Court while allowing an appeal has set aside an order by a district court for compensation enhancement. It has directed the authorities to recover any amount paid on the basis of enhancement.
 In his judgment, Justice Bashir Ahmad Kirmani, observed that the court has not put forth any outstanding circumstances to justify the extra statutory increase in the amount of solatium payable in acquisition matters. “All these orders appear to create gaping holes which becomes freighting by creating a liability of more than Rs three crore on the state exchequer. This amount has to be ultimately borne out by the endangered species, the common man,” the judge observed.
 Proceedings were initiated for the acquisition of the land measuring 122 kanals and 13 marlas in Budgam by the collector of Power Development Department for construction of power grid station. The then collector had issued a notice for acquisition of the land measuring 264 kanals and 16 marlas for gas turbine in April 1989 which was later modified and restricted to 122 kanals and 13 marlas for construction of grid.
 The authority concerned had fixed a rate of Rs 55, 731 per kanal for the said land. However, the respondent had appealed before the collector concerned for enhancement of compensation, which was accordingly done by the authorities under order (No LA-PDD/MHPs/324-40) dated June 3, 1998.    
 The judgment said the proceeding regarding the enhancement of the compensation was conducted in Budgam court. “The compensation was enhanced to Rs 2000 per kanal along with Rs 3, 44, 437 for fruit bearing trees and Rs 1,44000 for sheds amounting to Rs 1,0738437. A solatium of Rs 3221531 was added at the rate of 30 per cent along with interest rate of 12 percent per annum from the date of order till realization of the amount,” the judgment said.
 It said the orders were passed without holding the PDD as a party. “It burdens the state exchequer with a huge liability even when there was no need or ground for the enhancement.”
 The judge observed that the trial court has concluded that the approximate value of the land under reference was Rs two lakh per kanal at the relevant point of the time. It said considering the evidences and circumstances the orders suffers on three accounts. First, the proceedings against the superintending engineer, PDD, appear to have been “casually” ordered on the basis of unauthenticated receipts, which neither bears the office seal nor the name of the receiving person. Secondly, the trial court doesn’t appear to have properly appreciated the evidences in proper perspective led by respondent nor has it made any effort to secure other “Sharie” sale deeds for record to come to the conclusion regarding the sale prices of the land in question at the appropriate time. Thirdly, the rate of solatium has unusually been awarded at 30 per cent on the ground of appellants delayed payment of compensation to respondent till 1996. 
 “The trial judge appears to have forgotten that the enhanced rate of solatium could only apply to the compensation paid at the original awarded rate and not the enhanced one which certainly was nowhere in being in 1996,” the judge observed.
 He said the rate of the interest on the compensation has been awarded at 12 percent per annum instead of the statutory percentage of six percent for first year and 10 percent thereafter in case of non-payment. “It creates a burden on state exchequer,” the judge observed.
 The judge said the reference court under section 18 of land acquisition act requires keeping in mind that while considering enhancement in compensation for acquired land they are performing an important function having implications at the public exchequer. “They are thus expected to act strictly within law and control the tendency of being Hatam Tais of their times,” the judge observed.



No garbage disposal: Gurgaon wallows in own filth



Gurgaon, June 21 Deputy Commissioner says all measures stop gap, city must wait two years for a treatment plant and solution

One person generates around 300 to 400 grams of biodegradable waste ever day. At this rate, Gurgaon, with a population of approximately 10 lakh people, generates 350 metric tonnes of waste every day. And this waste is either burnt in empty plots and parks across the city or finds its way to the Aravalli belt near DLF.

It’s all garbage
Garbage tops the list as far as the many infrastructure problems of Gurgaon are concerned. The problem is so severe that various resident welfare associations (RWAs) of the city got together and filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) in the Punjab and Haryana High Court earlier this year.
Efforts were made by administrative officers, following the PIL, as far as making provision for the dumping of garbage and controlling random disposal of waste in Gurgaon was concerned.
Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner Rakesh Gupta was made the “nodal officer” for supervision of “proper and hygienic disposal of waste” by Justice Jaswant Singh of the High Court, following the last court hearing on May 14.
The order also stated: “The court is dissatisfied with a report submitted by HUDA outlining their project to curtail unchecked garbage dumping.”

Executive action
A meeting was held in Gurgaon following the court hearing, wherein Gupta formed a committee of five members — two HUDA officials, one Municipal Corporation official and one other administrative staff member — that was put in charge of surveying the dumping area every fortnight.
“I directed the officers to ensure that garbage is only thrown at the large Chakarpur village landfill, away from the main road, and that the dumping area is regularly sprayed with bacterial spray,” Gupta told Newsline. He also claimed that signboards had been put up along the road, instructing residents to not litter the area.
Gupta said: “This is only a stop gap arrangement till the garbage treatment plant is ready. The plant will take care of all the garbage troubles of Gurgaon and generate power from waste.” The plant is almost two years from completion.

No objection
Progress is slow. Although, for all official purposes HUDA has acquired 30.5 acres to build the solid waste treatment plant, the No Objection Certificates (NOC) required for the plant are yet to be cleared. Till date, only the environment clearance has been received. The development authority applied for the clearances in October 2006.
A senior HUDA official said: “The process is long and tedious. We face hurdles at every level… for one clearance an application has to go through a minimum of six channels.” The official said the clearances are now being processed, “because the High Court has intervened.”
HUDA officials said all NOCs would be acquired latest by July 21, after which it will take another 18 months to construct the treatment plant. The plant is expected to generate one megawatt electricity per day from biodegradable waste collected across the suburb.
Y S Gupta, a senior administrative official, said: “The plant will be built by a private company on a Build-Operate-Develop basis.” The private company will also be in charge of garbage collection, segregation and disposal.

Private contractors
But till the plant is ready, there is no provision for the disposal of garbage in Gurgaon.
Dharam Sagar, chairman of the Federation of Resident Welfare Associations, said: “The lack of infrastructure and manpower in the administrative departments of this city has forced most residents to hire private contractors for getting rid of their garbage.”
Sagar is also among the litigants who filed the PIL in the High Court. He said that for the last seven years Sectors 4 and 7 have had their own garbage collector: “I am apprehensive about the Gurgaon administration’s ability to deal with issues. When we were collecting garbage, it cost us Rs 70,000. But in the last two months that HUDA has taken over, it has paid Rs 1,80,000 for the same purpose to another contractor.”

No Garbage collection
HUDA has no provision for garbage collection or disposal in its Sectors. “The city barely has enough garbage trucks and dustbins… in the new sectors, if you notice, there is no provision for disposal of garbage,” V K Rao, president of an RWA in Sector 45, said. He said private garbage collectors, hired by residents, collect garbage from each doorstep and go and dump it in the nearest big pile. “I know it is not the best option but when there are no garbage bins or trucks provided by the administration, where are we supposed to throw the waste?” Rao asked.

No relief for DLF
The residents of DLF, meanwhile, have had no respite. “The main reason for us filing the PIL was to ensure that the existing piles of waste are removed from our houses and some proper provision is made to deal with the garbage. The authorities have, it however seems, found more reasons to delay action regarding this problem,” Shalini Wig Wadhwa, DLF RWA member, said. “To help with waste disposal, we have hired an NGO that segregates the biodegradable waste, turns it into manure and throws the rest at the landfill,” she said.


Posted online: Sunday , June 22, 2008 at 10:23:19
Updated: Sunday , June 22, 2008 at 10:23:19



Exploitation in IT Industry



The IT industry may seem inviting to students with innocent dreams in their eyes but the ones already engaged in it will tell you that the reality bites! Here’s a more elaborate view of IT industry, about the extortion of employees in here..


WE ALL are much aware of the Information Technology (IT) industry – its rewards, its intellect, the booming economy etc. But all we have seen is only one side of the coin or we can say merely the merits of the IT Industry. No one has given an insight into the demerits of this industry. This is also probably because software engineers have no time to write on this issue. I was lucky to get some hours to write about this, after facing long ’death rows’ of project deadlines. I think this is high time the government should step in to check the exploitation practiced by these software companies.

There is no rule at all to check the amount of work they take from their employees. Since the work is intangible, it never seems that the person has done enough for the day. The IT managers are trained to exploit the workforce. They will always give the task of four days to be completed in one day. They would do that despite knowing that the task is not feasible. But they don’t like the peace of mind or a momentarily smile on the faces of their arduous employees.

For us employees, it’s like hell working from nine to nine and even on weekends that too without being paid for this extra work. We don’t have unions in software companies, so this practice is not checked by any one. In most cases, the fresh engineers are exploited by their project managers. These poor guys coming from the colleges with dreams in their eyes are presented a different world. Majority of them are hired on foxing packages within the range of two to four lakh per annum. For example, a fresher will get Rs 17,000 per month and his manager will get Rs 1,50,000 per month – isn’t this ironical! So I think someone should wake up and put up a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) against this unethical practices performed by the IT companies.

I think we all should agree that there should be personal life of employees beyond work. This practice is already obliterated in the European countries after the directives given by their governments. I hope there will be a day when IT employees will go to the office with a smile knowing they can come home when the time-out siren will ring!

CJ: aks ,  22 Jun 2008  



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